DEPA set to cut gas supply to troubled fertilizer producer

Fertilizer producer ELFE, now renamed PFIC, a venture controlled by the financially troubled entrepreneur Lavrentis Lavrentiadis, is likely to have its gas supply cut by DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, as a result of substantial debt owed to the latter.

Over the past few days, the company’s management has maneuvered in an effort to continue operating its production facility under the new company name while avoiding payments for amounts owed to DEPA, the state, and banks.

According to energypress sources, DEPA will most likely soon cut its gas supply to the fertilizer producer, whose debt for gas consumed has reached a level of about 100 million euros. Decisions are expected within the next few days.

The fertilizer producer owes the Greek state a further 60 milllion euros, its bank debt is at a level of 150 million euros, while the European Commission’s Directorate-General (DG) for Competition has also taken action against the firm in a case concerning state aid.

A series of moves made by the company’s administration have been deemed provocative. A day before Christmas, regional officials in Kavala, northern Greece, approved an operating license transfer of the production facility to a new company named PFIC LtD. The new firm had applied for the operating license a week earlier.

Prior to the festive season, ELFE employees signed a six-month loan agreement facilitating their transfer to the new company. Virtually no employees are currently on the ELFE payroll.